Pelicans to acquire Bulls' Mirotic, sources say

The New Orleans Pelicans reached an agreement to acquire Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic, league sources told ESPN.

The Pelicans were able to complete the deal once they decided to guarantee the $12.5 million team option on Mirotic’s contract next season, which allowed the Bulls to complete the trade without Mirotic’s permission, league sources said.

The Pelicans are sending a 2018 protected first-round pick, center Omer Asik and guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson to the Bulls, league sources said.

The Pelicans had to attach a first-round pick to unload the salary of Asik, who is owed $10.5 million this season, $11.2 million in 2018-19 and $3 million in guaranteed money in 2019-20.

The Pelicans were able to create a roster spot to sign center Greg Monroe, whom they’re courting hard after his contract buyout with the Phoenix Suns.

The Bulls will waive Allen and will decide on the possibility of waiving Nelson, league sources said.

The Bulls will also send a 2018 second-round pick — acquired via New Orleans in a trade for Quincy Pondexter — and will have the right to swap second round picks with New Orleans in the 2021 NBA Draft, league sources said.

The Bulls will waive Pondexter to create the roster space to complete the trade.

Mirotic signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in August. He has thrived with the Bulls, averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds since missing the first 23 games of the season after a scuffle in practice with Bobby Portis left Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion.

ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.

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